President Donald Trump’s 2020 election turnout revealed some surprising voting bloc gains and losses. Early exit polls indicated progress in some demographics for the party where it was outperformed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, and might offer a map for GOP success in 2024.
A surge in Trump support among Hispanics and Latinos, black men and college-educated white men — though he lost support among white voters overall — is being hailed by some as a sign of the future of the party.
Cenk Uygur, a progressive liberal commentator and founder of the Young Turks, characterized the drop in Latino support for Democratic nominee and President-elect Joe Biden as a symptom of neglect.
“It looks like @JoeBiden took the Latino vote for granted and it cost him dearly,” Uygur tweeted. “Does anyone remember who did well in the primaries? Oh yeah, @BernieSanders. The guy all the media said wouldn’t do well in the general election. Oops. Again.”
It looks like @JoeBiden took the Latino vote for granted and it cost him dearly. Does anyone remember who did great with Latinos in the primaries? Oh yeah, @BernieSanders. The guy all of the media said wouldn’t do as well in a general election. Oops. Again.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) November 4, 2020
Trump performed better nationally and in certain battleground states among Hispanic and Latino voters than he did in 2016, earning 45% of the statewide Latino vote in Florida, eclipsing his 2016 total by 10%.
According to exit polls, Biden lost support among Latinos regardless of gender. Exit polling from both 2020 and 2016 show a 8% drop in support for Biden compared to Clinton’s edge in 2016. Further, there was a 5% nationwide difference between support for Clinton and support for Biden among Latino women. In Miami-Dade County, Trump gained 4% of the Cuban vote finishing with 58% in the county.
Similarly, Trump picked up 36% of the Texas Hispanic vote, compared to 34% in 2016. Trump especially made gains along the border in the Rio Grande Valley, where economic concerns may have played a decisive role in some Hispanic and Latino voters’ decisions, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.
Ruben Villarreal, former mayor of Rio Grande City in Starr County, Texas told WSJ that politically divisive issues like the border wall don’t matter as much to some Latino voters as much as stagnant wages and poverty. (RELATED: ‘They Prefer Bread On The Table’: Here’s How Trump Managed To Swing The Hispanic Vote)
“The message that Democrats were pitching nationally was never going to resonate with the Rio Grande Valley,” he told WSJ. “The message, it’s very simple: It’s jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Politico that the “fixation with Latinos is a scapegoat.” She argued this reflects a failure to recognize the diversity of the group.
“Because what’s implicit in that is the assumption and the entitlement that a hundred percent of communities of color must turn out for Democrats, and anything less is a failure,” Ocasio-Cortez said, per Politico.
But others made a more specifically gendered argument, addressing the perceived “masculine” appeal of Trump. Paola Ramos, former director of Hispanic media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and Vice News contributor, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Trump simply made electoral gains among all men.
“Trump made gains with men regardless of their skin color. He made gains with white men… with some black men and with Latino men. And so at end of day it’s not necessarily a Latino problem… The machismo is engrained regardless of what culture.”
Journalist @paoramos: “Trump made gains with men regardless of their skin color. He made gains with white men… with some black men and with Latino men. And so at end of day it’s not necessarily a Latino problem… The machismo is engrained regardless of what culture.” pic.twitter.com/0a0t3HYAAf
— Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) November 11, 2020
And Trump did make nominal gains among black men, where exit polling shows another drop in support for Biden as compared to Clinton. According to early exit polls, Biden underperformed Clinton by 9%. Exit polling per CNN also shows a 9% decrease in support for the Democratic candidate among black women.
Additionally, one in three black men in Midwestern states voted for Trump, NBC reported. About 26% of black men who had a high school diploma or less supported Trump, the report continued.
FiveThirtyEight’s Geoffrey Skelley and Anna Wiederkehr wrote prior to the election that Trump appeared to be headed toward losing some support from non-college educated white men, but could see gains in the black community.
“Notably, young Black voters don’t seem to feel as negatively about Trump as older Black Americans do. For instance, an early-July African American Research Collaborative poll of battleground states found that 35 percent of 18-to-29-year-old Black adults agreed that although they didn’t always like Trump’s policies, they liked his strong demeanor and defiance of the establishment. Conversely, just 10 percent of those 60 and older said the same,” Skelley and Wiederkehr wrote.
If your political prospects depend on a shrinking majority of almost solely white voters, and you keep losing the popular vote in elections, how do you win? One way? Never allow white Americans to feel comfortable in a modernizing world. Keep them angry and fearful and riled up.
— Joy WE VOTED!! WEAR A MASK!! Reid ????) (@JoyAnnReid) November 10, 2020
Although early exit polls indicate a moderate 3% gain among college-educated white men, there is a 2% decline in support from non-college educated white men. Trump’s overall support among white voters decreased by roughly 8% in 2020, according to exit polling data.